Ever feel like your monitors (computers, TV, phone) multiply on their own? How can you manage all of the interacations that result from being so connected across multiple platforms. Lifehacker just did a great post on the topic–“How to be Productive with Multiple Devices and Methods of Communication“.
One of the takeaways is to use the proper communication ‘tool’ for each situation. We all tend to have go-to tools that we rely on. I’m an emailer. I like to have a written record of the topics discussed and I am often communicating with people in far-flung time zones.
But there are many other ways to communicate. Twitter DMs and @ replies. Phone calls and voice mails. Instant Messages. In person meetings or snailmail. Each of these have their own place. Consider these questions when deciding how to communicate:
1. Does this require an instant response?
2. Does the person I need to communicate with have a prefered method of contact?
3. Do they have access to that technology?
4. Do I need to provide background or have a written record of the communication?
5. Is this a legal matter or contractual matter that requires proof of deliver?
6. Is it a sensitive topic that would benefit from a live conversation?
7. Can I answer with a quick yes or no?
8. Do I just need to give a simple answer not requiring a response?
9. Would a formal letter make an impression?
10. Are we trying to reconnect and in-person would be the preferred method of connecting?
11. Would a free-form conversation yield new opportunities?
and probably most importantly–
Which method of communication is preferred by my client?